Gardeners ‘reclaim’ controversial lot

May 3rd, 2013 | By | Category: Land

MIDDLETOWN CT — On Wednesday morning, a group of about 15 Middletown residents and students gathered on a vacant lot near the intersection of Washington and Pearl, raking leaves, picking up trash, and replanting what was once a community garden. In addition to being the target of such rogue agriculturists, this lot was recently chosen by a large developer to be part of a new strip mall complex that would span most of the block, requiring the demolition of neighboring homes.

“We tried to imagine a use for the land that could serve our local neighborhood, rather than a private developer and some multi-national corporations.” one gardener explained. “We’re cleaning up this land and planting these flowers to re-inspire the dreams of our community whose voice has been ignored by the governing officials.”

However, the land is now privately owned, and after three hours of clean-up and landscaping, the group was confronted by two individuals representing the landowner, who asserted that unless the group had prior permission, their activity would be considered trespassing. An older gentleman with a shovel pointed out that “Similarly, Centerplan [the developer] hasn’t received permission from the residents yet.” Nevertheless, the gardeners cleaned up their tools, hauled away several bags of garbage they had collected, and left the premises without much argument.

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The People's Garden in Middletown, CT.

The People’s Garden in Middletown, CT.

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